Tackling malnutrition in our communities

Carers and Residents at Millbrook care home shot for Age UK Training

This week is Nutrition and Hydration Week, an excellent campaign which celebrates food and drink as a way of maintaining health and wellbeing. As part of the Week, the Malnutrition Task Force have written a guest blog looking at malnutrition among older people in the community and highlighting wonderful examples of initiatives that can help tackle this.  

Food is a marvellous thing. Breathing in the scent of our favourite meal and savouring the taste as we eat and enjoy it are two of life’s great pleasures.

Food gives us the energy to keep active, stay mentally alert, and remain physically well, which means fewer visits to the doctors.

Keeping well-nourished and hydrated is so important to each and everyone one of us at every stage of our lives, particularly as we get older.

However, sadly, not everyone is so favoured. Latest estimates show up to 1.3 million of our older friends, relatives and neighbours are malnourished or at risk.

Continue reading “Tackling malnutrition in our communities”

Rural living – a challenge for many of England’s older people

This blog was contributed by Alice Woudhuysen, Senior Campaigner at Age UK.

It’s a well-known fact that we live in a rapidly ageing society, to the extent that by 2083, about one in three people in the UK will be over 60 (ONS 2009).

Rural image 1This is, of course, a significant advancement and cause for celebration: longer lives represent progress and older people are big contributors to society.

Perhaps less well known is the fact that rural communities are ageing faster than their urban counterparts, with the number of people aged 85+ set to increase by 186 per cent by 2028 in rural areas, compared with just 149 per cent in the UK as a whole (Oxford Consultants for Social Inclusion, for Cabinet Office, 2009). This is down to rising life expectancy, the outward migration of younger people to cities and the inward migration of people entering middle age to the countryside. Continue reading “Rural living – a challenge for many of England’s older people”

Think global, act … personal: a sustainable future for social care

Catherine Max is an independent consultant specialising in sustainable health and social care.  Since 2009, she has led the Social Care Institute for Excellence’s Sustainable Social Care programme, funded by the Department of Health.

The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) is working with partners in the sector to promote sustainable development in social care.  One question which arose early on in the Sustainable Social Care programme was:  could personalisation stimulate the market for more sustainable care services?  As researchers from the Institute for Sustainability, Health and Environment suggest ‘If several people receiving community meals in the same street choose different providers this could lead to increased environmental impact and transport costs. However, community-based models of personalisation … have great potential to facilitate the development of care and support that is environmentally, economically and socially sustainable.

Last year, SCIE collaborated with Bristol City Council to explore the implications of personalisation for sustainability and test the appetite in the community for more sustainable approaches. We used a sustainable development framework to probe issues spanning housing, transport and the public realm as well as care itself. Our rationale was that this would engender a holistic understanding of needs across the life-course as opposed to a response to a care need at a particular time. Continue reading “Think global, act … personal: a sustainable future for social care”